TIFF 53 COVERAGE: LOVING (SLAWOMIR FABICKI) (ENG)

For desistfilm: Mónica Delgado

There are few films that try not to sublimate the process of maternity, to undress it from the aura of instinct and show it as it is, in its pain and discomfort, as it is shown with Karim Viard in Solveigh Anspach’s Haut le Coeurs. But in Loving (Poland, 2012), Slawomir Fabicki’s second feature, maternity is constructed through mistrust, with mise en scene centered in the crisis of two characters, Maria (Julia Kijowska) and her husband Tomek (Marcin Doroncinski).

Maria is eight months pregnant but gets raped by the town mayor. This situation prompts doubt from her husband, who assumes his wife was unfaithful to him and that everything she does is part of a masquerade to stay with him. In this way, based on that dramatic premise, Fabicki shows us the other side of maternity through the uncertainty and the mood swings of the main characters, who place their parental issues far from their priorities as a couple. But as often occurs in films where childbirth is shown, the echo of death and its relationship with the beings that reaffirm themselves in their vitality before the mourning, appears to become evidence of the closing of the circle, the family loss.

It all comes together as an escape from the intense drama (even the rape scene is almost off camera). However, what Fabicki seeks is to recognize in his characters the intensity of frustrated emotions, to reflect the symptoms of jealousy, humiliation and apathy. In some way the film focuses on describing in a plain way the trauma of Maria as a mother, and the filmmaker achieves the empowerment of the character Tomek, but with that decision the film declines and extends itself to a less complex resolution. Loving closes with the old message that love conquers all, even if it’s with permission from the divine. A blessing.

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